For many years Hebrew schools in North America barely related to the Jewish holiday of Tu B’shevat, New Year for the Trees.
See the images: These very rare textiles were found in the Wadi Murabba’at caves south of Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Why is this ancient find so exciting for the Jews?
For more than 3000 years, Jews dreamed of recovering a lost blue dye called techelet. Using clues laid down over 100 years ago by one rabbi in Poland, and another in Israel, Ptil Techelet, the Association for the Promotion and Distribution of Tekhelet, has succeeded in tracking down the dye’s source and reviving it.
Too many people have an idealized picture in their head of what Bethlehem looks like today, but St. James Church in central London aims to change that with an 8 meter temporary tall wall that obscures the church’s façade.
Polygamous Arab men who buy property in Turkey must choose just one of their brides to carry over the threshold; polygamy isn’t legal in this country which grants residency permits to just one wife.
Hand-holding, smooches and inter-gender chitchat between strangers are prohibited in Saudi Arabia, as are all public demonstrations of amor. So passionate Saudis stymied by morality laws are turning to their cars to show some love.
The smirky little ram gracing billboards across Amman, Jordan is the face of Tkiyet Um Ali, an organization launched in 2006 by Jordan’s Princess Haya Al-Hussein in memory of her mother, the late Queen Alia, who conceived this project to (literally) cater to the needy.
Digital developments are lessening reliance on traditional architecture. The internet enables us to dine in “restaurants” and sleep in “hotels” that are actually ordinary people’s homes. Our retail therapy is increasingly conducted online in virtual stores. And now a nutty little website is muscling out conventional places of worship.
Rabbis in an ultra-Orthodox settlement in Israel have attacked the popular Brazilian dance-ercize known as Zumba, declaring that it conflicts with the teachings of the Torah and runs counter to holy living.
Recognizing our likenesses even in superficial traditions can chip away at the sense of “otherness” that prevents connection. With Syria on the brink, will anyone dispute that the West and the Middle East need better connection?
The Jewish New Year 5774 starts at sundown tonight, Wednesday September 4th, and ends on the night of Thursday the 5th. On the first night, families sit together and enjoy a meal rich in delicious symbolism, as we explained in this post. Carrots are a more interesting vegetable than one would suspect. They’re also one […]
Want a jump up on impressing the hosts of upcoming Eid al-Adha parties? Conspicuous consumption is hard work in Jordan where I live. Product selections are slim, and tasking distant friends with doing the shopping requires gambling on Jordan Post, where parcels disappear like socks in the dryer. Internet retailers can be the answer, if […]
Children in Central Asia practice a tradition in the lead-up to iftar (the evening breaking of the Ramadan fast – read our green iftar guide here) that has a decidedly Western resonance: they go Ramadan caroling. As with Christmas caroling, the children go door-to-door singing their neighbors holiday songs. After performing, carolers ask for a […]
Planning on a trip to Dubai before intense summer heat hits? Brush up on behavioral norms to avoid holiday disasters far worse than sunburn and frizzy hair. Among the seven member states of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai – if it was a Disney dwarf – could be called “Tolerant”. That’s modern Middle East tolerant, a term […]
Islamic nations defer to astronomers in Saudi Arabia, Iran, or Turkey (depending on political affiliation) to determine when the new crescent moon harkens the Holy Month of Ramadan. Dependence on real-time moon-spotting means heightened anxiety. Rumors reel about Ramadan’s start, leaving the requisite housecleaning and food prep open-ended.
Treading the path of righteousness involves the ecology too. It had never occurred to me that if I were to go camping on Mt. Meron for the upcoming Lag B’Omer celebration, that I’d actually be on pilgrimage. I never thought of my visits to the Western Wall in Jerusalem as a pilgrimage. But during the […]
Religious organisations are working with conservation groups to help end the consumer demand for products supplied by the illegal wildlife trade A major initiative linking religions and conservation groups in opposing the illegal wildlife trade, which is annihilating the world’s rare and endangered species, has been launched. Leaders of 34 religious traditions presented the Alliance […]
Today marks the first annual ‘Green Khutbah Day’ which also coincides with Earth Day 2013 Muslims have been asked to encourage their spiritual leaders, imams, to devote this Friday Khutbah or sermon (19th April 2013) to celebrate the blessings, graces and beauty of all of Allah’s creation. Muaz Nasir from Khaleafa who is leading the effort […]
Built at the lowest elevation on earth, and less than a year old, this jewel-box of a museum showcases the Dead Sea region’s rich past. After Israel, no nation has as many Biblical sites as Jordan. The Dead Sea gets several mentions in the Bible, and it’s where the Dead Sea scrolls were found. Jesus […]
Green Pilgrim Jerusalem hosts a week-long international symposium on greening pilgrimage, with major religious leaders from around the world. Faith and community leaders from around the world will be speaking on ecological, urban and social development as influenced by mass pilgrimage. Our report on the massive urban sprawl that Mecca is becoming illustrates the ecological […]
Can executions be green? Laurie answers this tongue in cheek. Tardy executioners have prompted Saudi Arabia to re-evaluate their centuries-old practice of public beheadings.The use of capital punishment in Saudi Arabia is based on a hardline interpretation of Sharia (Islamic) law. The practice attracts international scorn because of the wide array of crimes which garner […]
Hamas in Gaza does not want pretty women running in the streets. UN cancels the marathon that had almost 400 women registered for participation. While Israel gears up for its 42k marathon next week, the United Nations cancels Gaza marathon after Hamas rulers ban women from participating. The ban is the latest attempt by the Palestinian […]
I interview Professor Al Jayoussi about Islamic notions of sustainability and whether they could ever be seen as universally applicable In a previous post, I raised concerns over what an Islamic worldview can realistically offer those looking for a new sustainability model. After reading Odeh Al Jayoussi’s book on the topic, I felt that there […]
Odeh Al-Jayoussi creates a great guidebook on Islam and sustainable development, although it’s a little overambitious in its reach at times Odeh Al-Jayoussi, the current vice president of Jordan’s Royal Scientific Society, has certainly had an interesting career. As well as working for the International Union for Conservation of Nature, he’s spent time at the City […]
Animal lovers in Jordan are fighting a formidable battle to raise people’s awareness and respect towards strays and animals in general. It’s not easy being an animal in Jordan. One of our pair of mini-dachshunds escaped to the street last November and was killed in a hit and run. Distraught, we called friends asking what […]